Digital Natives win music to our ears at eHealth Ireland

A pair of Longford 12-year olds have won the eHealth Ireland ‘Digital Natives’ competition guided by our very own Microsoft specialist Keith MacHale.

Keith mentored the winning duo; Michaela O’Reilly and Kathlyn McGuire from Scoil Mhuire Aughnagarron National School in Longford yesterday as part of the eHealth Ireland ‘Innovation Showcase’, which was held at The Printworks, in Dublin Castle.

The two 12-year olds developed the app, ‘SignApp’ which assists people with hearing impairments to navigate everyday tasks such as allowing the hearing impaired communicate with hearing people, alerting the user to hazards in the home by vibration alerts, assistance with contacting and communicating with emergency services, location of lost children via Google maps, and recording and translating speeches at social and work events. The app also allows the users to experience loud playing music by vibrating to the beat of the song!

Part of the HSE’s Health Innovation Week which runs from 20-25 October, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD was present at the one-day exhibition highlighting leading digital and connected technologies, which hopes to transform Irish healthcare by 2030.

The Da Vinci Robot, a surgical system is designed to facilitate complex surgery; several Virtual Reality medical experiences and an exoskeleton mobility suit were just a small sample of the thrilling tech on display at eHealth Ireland.

“I’m so proud of the girls, they have put so much hard work and effort into their app which was hugely impressive. I was just blown away by the ability of these young kids,” says Keith.

“And a massive well done to their teacher, Breda Kennedy, who was fantastic support and encouragement throughout. It was such an exciting day; the event really showcased our emerging talent, and it will be very interesting to see where these young people will go.”

Last year, the Health Innovation Week saw over 2,100 attendees, had over 6,000 tweets, 40 hours of content and reached 1.8 million people.

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